Charita Goshay: How much lower and dirtier will the presidential race get?

Charita Goshay

Presidential politics is fun, except when it isn’t. I haven’t seen so much muck tossed since, well, the last election.

Every election has its moments of insanity, but this year’s follies are running on steroids, thanks in large part to technology.

Fueled by fears spurred by black radio, some minorities supporting Sen. Barack Obama are bordering on hysteria, terrified the election may be stolen, resulting in another “Brooks Brothers Riot” like the one in 2000, when an army of GOP lawyers descended upon Florida to fight that state’s controversial recount.

The Internet grants eternal life to rumors that otherwise would die of natural causes, from a young black man’s claiming to be the father of Bristol Palin’s baby to the belief that the Wall Street collapse is actually a calculated scheme to leave the nation in as bad a shape as possible should Obama become president.

Of course, we all know the fable that Obama is Muslim. Which part of “United Church of Christ” don’t some people get?

But did you also know Obama was the Antichrist? Don’t take my word for it; type in “Obama, Antichrist,” then step back as your computer smokes and shudders from all the entries.

I’m not really sure how it’s possible for Obama to be the Antichrist, given the popular claim in Christian circles that the Antichrist is supposed to hail from somewhere in the Middle East -- not Honolulu.

Nor has Sen. John McCain been immune. There are whispers he likes gambling a little too much and that he sometimes flies too close to the flames of temptation. Then there are the wing nuts, convinced he’s a “Manchurian Candidate,” brainwashed by communists while in captivity.

Even children are not immune. Last month, blogs and tabloids seeped unsavory stories about Gov. Sarah Palin’s teenage children, as well as speculation about the maternity of her youngest child. Just let one of Obama’s kids so much as swipe a cookie, and watch it morph into a liquor-store heist.

In a weird way, it actually may be to Obama’s advantage that Sen. Joe Biden’s propensity for gaffes makes gossip about him unnecessary.

Biden, who sticks his own foot in his own mouth, thank you very much, doesn’t just blab and bluster; he rewrites history. Did you know that Franklin D. Roosevelt (or was it Teddy?) was president during the Crash of 1929 -- right around the time TV was invented?

For incontrovertible proof that idiocy is an equal-opportunity employer, consider comedienne-provocateur Sandra Bernhard, who’s been scratched from a women’s shelter benefit after reportedly “joking” that Palin would be “gang-raped by my big, black brothers” if she ever visited New York City.

Such a remark is so insulting to so many on so many different levels, it’s hard to know even where to begin.

Bernhard has since denied making the statement, but it’s yet another example of how low-down and dirty things have gotten -- even for muck.

Contact Charita Goshay at